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Acta Scientiarum
ISSN printed: 1679-9283
ISSN on-line: 1807-863X
Doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v35i1.10086

Fish farm and water quality management

Lúcia Helena Sipaúba Tavares* and Rachel Magalhães Santeiro

Centro de Aquicultura, Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”, Via de Acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane, s/n, 14884-900,
Jaboticabal, São Paulo, Brazil. *Author for correspondence. E-mail:

ABSTRACT. Fish farms’ water quality management is analyzed with regard to the management
employed and the different trophic states are compared within the system during the dry and rainy seasons.
Six sites were marked two in the water supply (P1 and P2), and four within the fish farm (P3 to P6).
Whereas sites P1 and P2 (water supply) were characterized as oligotrophic, the others were mesotrophic
and eutrotrophic sites. Environmental variables, mainly nutrients, conductivity, COD, BOD5 and TSS
tended to increase as from P3 due to management and fertilization. Greater impact has been registered in
the fish farm under analysis for variables COD, ammonia, total phosphorus and TSS during the discharge
and pond emptying period. Frequent monitoring of water quality should be undertaken in fish breeding
and plankton production ponds, especially in those close to P3 and P4. Removal of sediment in decantation
lake or P5 is also recommended to decrease nutrient concentrations, especially phosphorus, accumulated
on the bottom soil.
Keywords: physical-chemical variables, trophic index, dry and rainy seasons.

Piscicultura e manejo da qualidade da água

RESUMO. Este estudo objetivou avaliar a qualidade da água em uma piscicultura em função do manejo
adotado e comparar os diferentes graus de trofia dentro deste sistema nas estações de seca e chuva. Seis
pontos foram delimitados sendo dois na água de abastecimento (P1 e P2) e quatro dentro da piscicultura
(P3 ao P6). Os pontos P1 e P2 foram caracterizados como oligotróficos e os demais como mesotróficos e
eutróficos. Houve tendência das variáveis ambientais principalmente, nutrientes, condutividade, DQO,
DBO5 e STS aumentarem a partir do P3 em função do efeito do manejo e fertilização. As variáveis DQO,
amônia, fósforo e STS foram de grande impacto dentro da piscicultura estudada, principalmente, no
período de descarga e esvaziamento dos viveiros e tanques. Frequente monitoramento da qualidade da água
deve ser realizado nos viveiros de criação de peixes e nos tanques de produção de plâncton, especialmente
naqueles próximos aos pontos P3 e P4. Outra recomendação a ser adotada é a remoção do sedimento na
lagoa de decantação (P5) devido ao grande acúmulo de fósforo neste local.
Palavras-chave: variáveis físico-químicas, índice trófico, estação de seca e chuva.

Introduction progressive loss in biodiversity and fishing yields. In

fact, several hydroelectric plants establish fish farms
Since an increase in the number of fish farms in
to replace the native ichthyofauna of impacted
Brazil during recent years has become an important
ecosystems. Current study focuses on the FURNAS
datum, many fish farms have been regarded as
fish farm which produces fish fry to repopulate large
research models by government departments. Most
reservoirs built along the river Grande, State of
fish farms receive water directly from river or
Minas Gerais, Brazil.
reservoirs, with special impact on management
employed, and the subsequent discharge in rivers or Fish farms are maintained by complex physical
reservoirs without any previous treatments. Most and chemical factors and by biological interactions
fish farms are divided into compartments, such as which directly depend on water quality. Framing
laboratories for larvae culture, fish breeding ponds, activities can cause important impacts on the
plankton (natural feed) production ponds, fish environments due to the discharge of waste water
fattening ponds and other equipments. Due to into streams, rivers and lakes (KONSOWA, 2007).
fertilization and fish feeding management the above Physical and chemical oscillations in fish ponds
mentioned compartments may deteriorate directly basically depend on energy input, with special
the water quality. One of the most important emphasis on the frequency and nature of the
ecological issues in water ecosystems is the nutrient discharge added to the system. In general,
Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences Maringá, v. 35, n. 1, p. 21-27, Jan.-Mar., 2013
22 Tavares and Santeiro

the fish farms receive adequate water availability and follows site 1 (P1) close to the impounding of water
constant renewal supply but the water is discharged supply (Furnas Reservoir); site 2 (P2) water
into the river without any treatment (SIPAÚBA- distribution center to ponds and breeding ponds of the
TAVARES et al., 2010). There are two sources fish farm; sites 3 (P3) an effluent of the larvae culture
which modify water quality in fish farms (1) food ponds; site 4 (P4) receives the effluent of the plankton
supplied to fish; in fact, intake occurs at the rate of production ponds; site 5 (P5) in the lake which, besides
25%, whereas the rest is dejected into the containing fish, receives water from the entire fish
environment as urine (nitrogen) and feces farm; and site 6 (P6) is the effluent of fish farm. Water
(phosphorus); (2) fertilization is one of the most samples were undertaken every other day, during 20
important problems concerning fish ponds, or consecutive days, during the rainy (February, 2002)
rather, the determination of the best fertilizer dose and dry (August 2002) seasons.
to be added to the pond. Optimal requirements of Management
fertilizers for different types of bottom soil
Populations in the ponds comprised ‘tilapia’
conditions and their interactions with various factors
(Oreochromis niloticus), ‘trairão’ (Hoplias larcedae),
of pond ecosystem are still unknown (FENG et al.,
‘pintado’ (Pseudoplastystoma corruscans), ‘pacu’
2005). Aquaculture production has increased more (Piaractus mesopotamicus), ‘curimba’ (Prochilodus
than 40 times during the last 50 years and it is lineatus), ‘piapara’ (Leporinus obtusidens), ‘carpa’
expected to have a five-fold rise in the coming 50 (Ciprinus carpio), ‘dourado’ (Salminus brasiliensis),
years. Consequently, rise in aquaculture production ‘piau’ (Leporinus friderici). The estimated total weight
has to be planned within the context of minimizing of fish reached 3 tons. Continuous water flow comes
environment impact and optimizing resource from water in the Furnas Reservoir. Fish were fed a
utilization (AVNIMELECH et al., 2008). supplementary diet containing 15% crude protein at
The present investigation characterizes the water the rate of 3% average live weight. Fertilization in the
quality of fish farms with regard to employed ponds was done by chemical (25.6 kg of simple super
management and compares their different trophic phosphate and 48 kg of ammonia sulfate) and organic
states to identify differences related to the dry and rainy fertilizers, with the addition of 100 kg pig dung in
seasons. natura at approximately 7-day intervals only to the
plankton ponds (close to P4).
Material and methods
Physical and chemical data
Study area
Water samples were collected at a depth of 0.10 m,
Current experiment was carried out at Furnas with the exception of P5 which was 2.5 m deep, using a
Hydrobiology and Hatchery Station (20°40’ S 46°19’ 5-L Van Dorn bottle. Nitrate, nitrite ammonia and
W), Furnas Hydroelectric Plant (São José da Barra, alkalinity were determined according to Mackereth
Minas Gerais State, Brazil). The fish farm is located et al. (1978). Total phosphorus, orthophosphate,
on the left bank of the River Grande, some 2 km chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen (DO), total
from FURNAS reservoir, which provides water to suspended solids (TSS), organic and inorganic
the fish farm. Continuous water flow provides 5% solids, 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5),
daily exchange rate of the breeding volume. The fish chemical oxygen demand (COD), total Kjeldahal
farm with 211 ponds, whose areas range between 60 nitrogen (TKN), chloride and silicate were
and 3,000 m3, produces young fish for breeding. determined according to Murphy and Ryley (1962),
Sampling sites were allocated from the reservoir Nusch (1980), Golterman et al. (1978) and APHA
where the water is harvested (P1) for the fish farm (1998), respectively. Temperature, pH, electrical
up to the effluent outflow site (P6) of the fish farm conductivity and water flow were taken by probe
to the River Grande. Each fish pond has a separate Horiba U-10 and flow meter, respectively.
water inflow system, but the water outflow pipe
system of the ponds converges along the fish farm Bottom soil
and passes through sites P3, P4, P5 and P6 sampled Bottom soil samples were collected every three
within the fish farm. The sample sites are boxes that days in the lake using a 4-cm diameter PVC core only
receive and distribute water for many different at site P5. Nitrogen and phosphorus analyses were
sections of the fish farm, except for site P5, a undertaken according to Mackereth et al. (1978) and
decantation lake, and the effluent (P6). Water Murphy and Riley (1962), respectively. All samples
samples were collected from six sampling sites, as were carried to the laboratory in ice boxes.
Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences Maringá, v. 35, n. 1, p. 21-27, Jan.-Mar., 2013
Fish farm and water quality management 23

Trophic State Index concentrations at P5 coincided with highest rates at

Carlson’s trophic state index (TSI) was P4 (1.1 mg L-1) in both seasons, when pig dung was
calculated for variables chlorophyll-a (TSIChl), total used as fertilizer (Figure 2).
phosphorus (TSIP) and Secchi disk (TSISD), Chlorophyll-a was very low at P1 and P2 (water
according to Carlson (1977). supply) due to the reservoir’s oligotrophic features.
Chlorophyll-a rates in the fish farm were higher; the
Evaluation of Environmental Impact
highest peaks could be encountered at P3 and P4
Environmental impact was evaluated by (fertilized with pig dung) during the rainy season.
diagnosis of the limnological analyses during the fish The highest rates were found in the lake (P5) and in
farm operation stage according to an evaluation the fish farm outlet (P6) during the dry season.
matrix proposed by Pillay (1992). They varied between 14 and 40 μg L-1 at P5 and
Statistical analysis between 19 and 37 μg L-1 at P6 (Figure 2).
Further, pH, generally higher than 6, was similar
Two-way ANOVA was applied to physical and
(p > 0.05) in the two seasons throughout the fish
chemical variables in order to compare sites (P1-P6)
farm. DO was somewhat higher (p < 0.05) during
and seasons (rainy and dry), and to evaluate the
the rainy season with a sharp drop on the fourth day
interaction between them (ZAR, 1996). Significance
of the experiment at the sites within the fish farm
level was p < 0.05.
(P3 to P6). However, it normally remained above 3
Results mg L-1. Fluctuation pattern during the dry season
was different (p < 0.05) only at P5, which receives
Nitrate and ammonia presented an inverse total discharge from the fish farm.
fluctuation pattern (p < 0.05). Nitrate was the
dominant nutrient in the supply water (P1 and P2) Rainy Dry
mainly during the rainy season, varying between 166 300

and 337 μg L-1 (Figure 1). Only nitrate among the 200 200

nutrients analyzed had high rates in the water supply

(P1 and P2). Ammonia greatly increased in the fish 100 100

farm during the dry season, with highest 0 0

concentrations at sites P3 (298 μg L-1) and P4 (300

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
T ime (days) T ime (days)

μg L-1). They are sites close to the ponds that receive 225 225
organic fertilizers (pig dung). Due to such
management, site P5 and P6, which are the water 150 150

outlet of the fish farm, had high rates of these 75 75

nutrients (Figure 1). Total phosphorus and

0 0
orthophosphate rates had a similar fluctuation 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19

pattern with high concentrations during the dry T ime (days) T ime (days)

season and low ones during the dry one. However,

300 300

rates differed significantly (p < 0.05) between 200 200

seasons. Highest rates of the above nutrients were

100 100
found in sites close to the ponds which receive pig
dung fertilizer (P3 and P4). Low rates of total 0 0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
phosphorus and orthophosphate at the outlet of the T ime (days) T ime (days)

fish farm (P6) may be associated to phosphorus 350 350

NO 3 NO 3
retention on the sediment of lake P5 in which 280 280

phosphorus rates on the bottom soil were above 210 210

1 g L-1 (Figure 1; Table 1). Nitrogen absorption on 140 140

70 70
the bottom soil at site P5 was not as efficient as that 0 0
of phosphorus, varying between 1.8 and 3.6% (Table 1). 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
T ime (days) T ime (days)
TKN had similar concentrations (p > 0.05) in the
Figure 1. Daily variation of nutrients (μg L-1) at the water
two seasons, with higher concentrations at P5,
column of sites P1 to P6, during the rainy and dry seasons, where
featuring 1.7 mg L-1 during the rainy season and 1.1 TP = total phosphorus; ORT = orthophosphate; AMM =
mg L-1 during the dry one. Highest TKN ammonia; NO3 = Nitrate.

Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences Maringá, v. 35, n. 1, p. 21-27, Jan.-Mar., 2013

24 Tavares and Santeiro

Table 1. Average, maximum, and minimum (between parentheses) rates of limnological variables at sites P1 to P6, nitrogen (N) and
phosphorus (P) in the bottom soil of site P5, during the rainy (R) and dry (D) seasons.
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6
Temperature (0C) 23.3 20.9 23.9 21.8 25.8 22.3 25.8 22.2 26.0 22.8 26.5 23.0
(23 - 24) (20 - 22) (23 - 25) (21 - 22) (25 - 27) (21 - 23) (25 - 28) (22 - 24) (25 - 28) (22 - 25) (25 - 29) (22 - 25)
COD (mg L-1) 0.8 0.7 1.0 0.8 2.1 1.1 2.2 1.3 2.4 3.1 2.5 3.2
(0.5 - 1.3) (0.3 - 1.2) (0.3 - 1.6) (0.5 - 1.2) (1.0 - 7.5) (0.7 - 2.4) (1.1 - 7.0) (0.8 - 1.8) (1.3 - 4.1) (1.9 - 4.6) (1.7 - 3.2) (2.5 - 5.0)
BOD5 (mg L ) 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 1.4 1.1 1.7 0.8 1.9 2.7 2.2 3.0
(0.2 - 4.0) (0.1 - 1.3) (0.2 - 2.9) (0.1 - 3.7) (0.3 - 4.9) (0.1 - 6.0) (0.7 - 4.5) (0.4 - 2.5) (0.7 - 3.9) (1.3 - 4.6) (1.2 - 5.0) (1.3 - 5.4)
Water Flow (L s-1) * * * * 1,151 717 1,462 753 * * * *
(737 - 1,343) (355 - 1,047) (815 - 2,237) (224 - 1,517)
Chloride (mg L-1) 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.9 2.3 1.5 2.4 1.1 2.3 1.3 2.2 1.2
(0.6 - 1.3) (0.3 - 1.8) (0.3 - 0.9) (0.3 - 1.7) (0.9 - 4.7) (0.3 - 4.4) (0.6 - 4.8) (0.3 - 2.2) (0.7 - 6.9) (0.4 - 3.0) (0.5 - 3.8) (0.3 - 2.4)
Silicate (mg L ) 4.1 4.6 4.9 5.4 4.5 4.8 4.0 5.4 4.2 4.5 4.4 5.2
(1.8 - 6.3) (0.7 - 6.7) (3.5 - 6.2) (2.7 - 7.2) (2.2 - 5.7) (1.0 - 7.2) (2.7 - 5.3) (2.4 - 6.8) (1.7 - 5.1) (1.9 - 7.2) (2.3 - 5.4) (1.8 - 6.8)
Alkalinity (mg L ) 16.2 16.3 14.5 16.6 17.2 18.0 16.5 17.5 17.5 18.4 17.1 18.2
(9 - 19) (15 - 18) (10 - 18) (15 - 18) (15 - 21) (15 - 27) (14 - 21) (13 - 21) (16 - 24) (17 - 19) (13 - 25) (14 - 20)
N soil (%) * * * * * * * * 2.4 2.7 * *
(1.1 - 3.1) (1.8 - 3.6)
P soil (g L-1) * * * * * * * * 1.8 1.9 * *
(1.1 - 2.7) (0.8 - 2.2)
*not measured.

Dry highest rates varying between 1.3 and 4.6 mg L-1 and
between 1.9 and 4.6 mg L-1, respectively (Figure 2;
Table 1).
3 3 Rates of suspended, organic and inorganic solids
were higher at sites within the fish farm due to
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 feeding and organic fertilization management,
T ime (days) T ime (days)
featuring a similar fluctuation pattern (p > 0.05)
among themselves (Figure 3). Nevertheless, highest
9 9
pH pH

6 6
rates occurred during the rainy season mainly at P3
3 3 and P4; highest rates in the dry season occurred at
P5 and P6, the water outlet of the fish farm (Figure
0 0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 3). Conductitivy was below 65 μS cm-1 during the
T ime (days) T ime (days)
rainy season and 90 μS cm-1 during the dry one. In
both seasons the sites with the higest rates were P3
44 44

33 33 and P4, although highest rate occurred at P3 (93 μS

22 22 cm-1) (Figure 3).
11 11
Alkalinity was low with high mean rates only
during the dry season. Temperature was higher
0 0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19

(p < 0.05) during the rainy season which is the hottest

T ime (days) T ime (days)

TKN period (summer), albeit not over 28°C (Table 1).
1 Chloride in water increased in the fish farm (p < 0.05)
with highest rates at P6 in both seasons, varying
between 1.2 and 5.0 mg L-1 and between 1.3 and 5.4

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
mg L-1 during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively
T ime (days) T ime (days) (Table 1). No great variations occurred in the silicate
Figure 2. Daily variation of dissolved oxygen (DO - mg L-1), pH, (p > 0.05) at the sites analyzed. Its mean rates varied
chlorophyll-a (CHL - μg L-1) and total Kjeldahal nitrogen (TKN between 4.1 and 5.4 mg L-1 in both seasons (Table 1).
- mg L-1) at the water column of sites P1 to P6, during the rainy
(R) and dry (D) seasons.
Carlson’s Index for the determination of the
trophic state showed that sites P1 and P2 were
Since it is deeper (5 m) than the fish ponds (1.5 m), oligotrophic, whereas P3 had a mesotrophic
water flow during this period was less intense, with environment going on to eutrophic; P4 was
greater decomposition and, consequently, low DO eutrophic only for phosphorus during the rainy
rates. The latter varied between 2.5 and 5.6 mg L-1. The period. However, P5 and P6 were eutrophic for all
opposite occurred for BOD5 and COD at P5, with variables analyzed during both seasons (Table 2).

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Fish farm and water quality management 25

Dry was registered (3C) in the fish farm under analysis
for variables COD, ammonia, total phosphorus and
15 15
TSS, in water quality and in the discharge period or
10 10 rather, when ponds were emptied. TSS was also an
5 5 impacting variable during the food supply period.
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
Nitrogen and phosphorus in the bottom soil showed
T ime (days) T ime (days) average effective importance (2B) during the hauling
12 12
period (Table 3).

8 8
4 4
Management pattern in the employment of
0 0 organic fertilizer associated with feed greatly
1 3 5 7 9 11
T ime (days)
13 15 17 19 1 3 5 7 9 11
T ime (days)
13 15 17 19
impacted water quality, especially with regard to
nitrogen, phosphorus, TSS, organic and inorganic
solids, COD, BOD5 and conductivity, with direct
15 15
effects in the lake (P5) and with medium impact on
10 10
phosphorus and nitrogen rates. When the latter are
placed in the effluent (P6) of fish farm they will
5 5

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 surely affect the river Grande’s limnological
T ime (days) T ime (days)
87 C O N 87 CO N Suspended solids, phosphorus and nitrogen are
of great concern for their potential impacts on pond
68 68
effluents and on the environment. Only less than
49 49
30% of the feed or fertilizer nitrogen and
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
phosphorus added to ponds are recovered during
T ime (days) T ime (days) fish harvest (RAHMAN; VERRETH, 2008). In the
Figure 3. Daily variation of total suspended solids (TSS - mg L-1), fish farm under analysis feed (ration) was added
organic solids (OS - mg L-1), inorganic solids (IS - mg L-1) and approximately at the rate of 3 kg three times a day in
conductivity (CON - μS cm-1) at the water column of sites P1 to
P6, during the rainy and dry seasons.
the fish ponds and at the rate of 25 kg three times a
week for P5. Above-mentioned rates show an excess
Table 2. Trophic state index of total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a in organic load and needs re-evaluation of feed
and Secchi disk during the rainy and dry seasons at sites P1 to P6. management to decrease and minimize the impact.
Variables Seasons
Sites Current study shows that the effluent’s
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 characteristics brought about by fish farm are
Total Rainy 33.2 29.4 63.0 63.6 54.3 54.2
Phosphorus Dry 31.7 31.1 57.0 50.0 59.3 59.3 characterized by great concentrations of suspended
Chlorophyll-a Rainy 33.9 31.0 45.8 53.5 57.9 56.1 solids and by nitrogen and phosphorus compounds.
Dry 31.0 31.9 45.5 43.9 62.0 61.6
Secchi disk Rainy 27.1 * * * 27.7 * The nutrients accessed to pond water from
Dry 26.1 * * * 27.0 * fertilizer, unconsumed feed, fish feces and fish
*not measured.
metabolites contribute to the pond’s eutrophication.
Data analyzed established an environmental Sites P1 and P2 (water supply) are oligotrophic and
impact matrix and took into consideration average do not receive any ration, whereas the sites within
concentration reported at each site. Greater impact the fish farm are mesotrophic and eutrophic.

Table 3. Evaluation matrix comprising environmental impact for the operation phase of fish farm during the rainy and dry seasons, with
system’s factors size (1- small; 2- medium; 3- high); importance (A- small; B- medium; C- high), during the study period; where CON=
conductivity and ORT = orthophosphate.
Phases of Alterations Water Bottom soil
Activities Environment DO pH CON BOD5 COD NH4 TP ORT TSS N P
Use Water Quality 3B 1B 1C 2C 3C 3C 3C 2B 3C * *
of intakes Bottom Soil * * * * * * * * * 1B 1B
(ration, manure) Water Flow 1B * * 2B 2B 3B 1B 2B 2B * *
Fishponds Hauling * * * * * 1B 1B * * 2B 2B
Management Discharge * * * * 3C 3C 3C * 3C * *
Food Supply 1A * 2A 2B 2B 2B 2B * 3C * *
*not detected.

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26 Tavares and Santeiro

Care should be taken in the evaluation of P5 and technology that aims at increasing production,
P6 owing to the large organic load they receive. In decreasing costs and promoting fish survival
fact, the place should be used as a depuration lake (HISHAMUNDA; RIDLER, 2002). Whereas
without any ration or fish and will also improve the effective practices in environmental protection
effluent water of the fish farm. An evaluation of the should be established, incorrect management risks
environmental impact of the fish farm showed the should be lessened through a holistically-approach
great importance and high rates of limnological aquaculture. Lack of information on monitoring and
variables, with special emphasis on the impact caused management causes high risks in environmental
by the additional organic charge placed on the fish impact. The establishment of management practices
ponds with high TKN rates in the water and proper to the system’s local conditions should be
phosphorus in the bottom soil at P5. This site is the undertaken to prevent or at least to minimize the
fish farm’s decantation lake with inadequate water impacts that may be caused. Evaluation may be
conditions directly discharged into the river Grande. undertaken for each system, for each fish species and
It should be emphasized that, in the case of fish for the region since different factors may require
farm management, the nature and frequency of other conditions and production methods.
foraging and manuring of ponds affect directly the
system’s water quality. Further, the discharge system Conclusion
of culture ponds is frequently deployed in the fish
According to our results, the following
farm in which, in a short period of time, great
recommendations may be applied in this fish farm
quantities of organic load are released and directly
Feed formulations should eliminate high levels of
affect the site that receives the discharge (P5 and
P6). Chloride is also an increasingly high rate phosphorus and non-digestible compounds, testing the
element in the fish farm. It is thus mandatory that minimum needs of fish species to be cultured.
salt use in controlling fish disease should be Frequent monitoring of water quality and fish
managed more adequately so that when it reaches breeding and plankton ponds, especially those close
the river it does not have doubled the rate the to P3 and P4, should be mandatory.
original quantity had in the water supply (P5 and P6 Removal of sediment in P5 to decrease nutrient
P1 and P2). Maximum BOD levels reported during concentrations, especially phosphorus, accumulated
the intensive pond failed to reach the critical level of on the bottom of the lake.
30 mg L-1 (SUMAGAYSAY-CHAVOSO; DIEGO- Greater oxygenation at site P5 (decantation lake)
McGLONE, 2003). Current study shows that BOD5 will benefit nitrification and the reduction of
and COD rates were lower than 6 mg L-1, although ammonia and nitrite in the system; the lake should
this did not occur with TSS, organic and inorganic be used solely as a depuration system for organic and
solids. According to Boyd (1990), TSS is also a good inorganic loads from the fish farm; the water may
indicator of pollution because of the direct relationship thus be discharged into the river Grande with the
with biomass feed input. As expected, TSS was higher least load of material from fish culture.
within the fish farm when compared with rate in water Installation of water treatment (wetland) at the
supply (P1 and P2). This is due to high organic loading effluent of the fish farm so that the impact may be
of the fish ponds. lessened.
Low ammonia concentrations during the rainy Current study also recommends the use of the
season were associated with high concentrations of best available method and manipulation techniques
nitrate. In fact, they are the most stable form of for fish farm monitoring.
dissolved inorganic nitrogen for the buildup of
nitrogen at high biomass (SUMAGAYSAY- Acknowledgements
alkalinity found in current experiment at the The authors would wish to thank the Estação de
analyzed sites in the fish farm has been associated Hidrobiologia and Piscicultura de Furnas (Minas Gerais
with pH rates which were mainly below 6.8. CO2 is State, Brazil) and the Brazilian Council for Scientific
released during decomposition and thus lowers pH and Technological Development (CNPq) for its
and alkalinity (RAHMAN; VERRETH, 2008). support with a scholarship to Rachel M. Santeiro.
Actually there are no clear rules for aquaculture
activities with regard to warrants and system References
management that would guarantee the equilibrium APHA-American Public Health Association. Standard
of the environment. One suggestion for sustainable methods for the examination of water and wastewater.
aquaculture is the diffusion of production 20th ed. Washington, D.C.: APHA, 1998.
Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences Maringá, v. 35, n. 1, p. 21-27, Jan.-Mar., 2013
Fish farm and water quality management 27

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Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences Maringá, v. 35, n. 1, p. 21-27, Jan.-Mar., 2013